JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - With the help of a grant, Jonesboro police officers will walk the streets safer.
According to Director of Communications Bill Campbell, the city received $13,860 to purchase new bulletproof vests for police.
The U.S. Department of Justice informed the city they would be getting the grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance under the Fiscal Year 2016 Bulletproof Vest Partnership.
Of the city's 159 officers and 25 reserves, all of them are equipped with bulletproof vests and have to wear them under the Jonesboro Police Department's policy.
"There's been an increase in officer deaths around the country over the past five or six years," said Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin. "We're committed to providing every safety precaution for our officers out in the field, and this just helps defray some of the costs."
Police Chief Rick Elliott said just as the vests are important for the officers, covering the costs of the vests is important too.
"Having safe, up-to-date body armor provides a big layer of protection for the men and women who serve our city," said Elliott. "This program allows us to change out the armor every five years, which is the manufacturer's recommended rate. A lot of agencies don't have the ability to do that."
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